Tuesday, October 26, 2004

palmOne Treo 650 released

palmOne has officially announced the Treo 650. Previous speculations on the specifications seems to be spot on except that instead of the rumoured 1.3 Megapixel digital camera sensor, it would instead be a VGA sensor. Its not something that I would cry about - but palmOne should have done better here especially if its priced at US$599.

Pricing is not available for the UK yet. I do suspect that it would be released on Orange first and hopefully on other networks later. A price of £199 inc. with contract would be pretty reasonable but somehow I suspect the carriers would try to push for more.


John Peel died

Legendary BBC Radio 1 and Radio 4 DJ jockey has passed away today in a heart attack while on a working holiday in Peru with his wife. He was 65.

He will be long remembered as the resident DJ who championed underground music and bands that were unknown such as The White Stripes and Napalm Death. He will be sorely missed. No other DJs has the guts to sample and promote unknown music genres like him.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Top Gear returns

The new series of Top Gear is here. It was shown yesterday on BBC2 and looks set to be the most outrageous season so far.

The first episode was a little disappointing. We had Jeremy Clarkson reviewing the new Porsche
911 Carrera S. Well he had some bias but I think he is wrong to say Porsche built the exact same car as the old one. Is he blind?

Jeremy Clarkson finally eats his hair in this episode. His hair was prepared by none other than celebrity chef,
Anthony Worrall Thompson who conjures up a 'hair omelette'.

There would be a
Restoration rip-off with the first episode dedicated to highlight the first option - James Dean's Lotus which could have saved his life (if it was delivered on time). For the next five weeks - Top Gear would be looking at a different car that the viewers would be able to vote for it to be saved and restored.

We have
Bill Bailey, the old rocker and comedian whom I am sure many Malaysians reading this would not know about - but anyway, he is the star of the reasonable priced car.

Another destruction was featured this week - but no this time it does not involve old Volvos or caravans. Instead they tried to see how many bouncing castles an ice cream truck could jump over.

The supposed highlight of this episode was the head on test between an ugly Vauxhall Monaro VXR, the fat Chrysler 300c and the Jaguar S type R done on the beach at Wales. The winner was the Vauxhall which costs more than £30k. Yeah, spend £30k on a car that looks like a Japanese car stuck in the early 1990s.

I have some vid caps of my DVB recording of the show. When I have time to pull them together I will update this post with the screenshots.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

Windows Mobile 2005 news

Brighthand has some interesting information of the next Windows Mobile for Pocket PC iteration. Code named Magneto and rumoured to be called Windows Mobile 2005, the Pocket PC GUI will run on top of the Windows CE.Net 5 (current Pocket PCs run on CE.Net 4.2). There would be some improvements to bring the Pocket PC OS functionality from 1980 to 2005, among other things Pocket Word would support tables (Wot? You mean the current version does not) and ability to display numbered lists.

Anyway, this is good news for people like me who are looking at excuses not to dump my Pocket PC 2003 PDA for the new Pocket PC 2003 SE PDAs such as the Hewlett Packard iPAQ hx4700. The other good news is palmOne still have the chance to tempt me on their PalmOS 6 device when summer 2005 comes.

Source: Brighthand

Film Review: Alien Vs Predator

This is shortest review I have ever written partly because I am lazy and partly because the movie has completely no substance which gives me no reason why I should promote it.

What a disappointment - even the craps that were Predator 2 and Alien: Resurrection feels like a classic now. Alien Vs Predator tries too hard. It tried to create another female heroine but this time we know who it would be 10 minutes into the movie.

Rating: 3/10

Moscow MP ractifies Kyoto

Great news. Hopefully more will be done to cut polutions although the biggest polluter in the World - the United States (and its 51st state - Australia) isn't planning on backing it. Hmm...I thought once you agree to something - you should in principal follow it.

Source: BBC News

Thursday, October 21, 2004

nForce4 brings PCI-Express, SLI to AMD64

Finally, nVidia's new chipset designed for AMD64 family of processors is here. There will be three different chipsets to choose from: nForce4 SLI, nForce4 Ultra and a vanilla nForce4.


My last two home built PC runs on nVidia's nForce family - the first being the original buggy nForce which was on my MSI K7N420Pro and my current PC with EpoX's wonderful and classic nForce2 motherboard the 8RDA+ which contains the nForce2 SPP chipset and nForce2 MCP-T.

I am really looking forward to the retail release of motherboard's featuring this chipset. Finally SLI support for dual PCI-Express cards for AMD64 CPUs. The chipset would also support the new 3Gb/s SATA interface. How great is that? I am planning a whole sale upgrade of my PC (building a whole new PC) in the next six to ten months. By then prices of AMD64 CPUs would have dropped substantially.

I probably would not go for a SLI solution as its darn expensive to get two high end graphic card let alone one (£350 inc.). SLI solution is great - but I think its geared more towards graphics workstations.

Read the preview at HardOCP.

Source: nVidia

Windows for your automobile

Microsoft wants cars to be equipped with Windows CE OS. Sorry MS, but my Pocket PC PDA running the Pocket PC 2003 GUI on top of Windows CE is crashing daily requiring me to soft reset every time I run a couple of application. I do not want something that crashes every 100 miles that also happens to be moving at 70mph.

Source: ZDNet

Boy cured by designer baby cells

A six yead old boy with a rare blood disorder has been cured by British doctor using cells trasplanted from his babe brother who was created to save him.

While there are ethical issues concerning the creation of a human being for use of curing another human being, lets face it - this is the future of medical.

Source: BBC News

Free Pete Tong's Essenchill Ibiza

If you are a Londoner and planning to get the usual Evening Standard final edition this evening, make sure you pick up the free copy of MetroLife which comes with a free Pete Tong's Essenchill Ibiza CD. It is also an enchanced CD so the tracks are also available as mp3s. There are 10 tracks plus 20 bonus 4Play tracks.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

PDAMill two for one offer

PDAMill has a great offer for Pocket PC users who wants to purchase Anthelion, their wonderful 3D space simulator and Flux Challenge - the excellent 3D racer. If you purchase a copy of Flux Challenge, you will receive a copy of Anthelion.




Screenshots: Anthelion (Top), Flux Challenge

Source:
PDAMill

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Building a new PC

I got this Antec LanBoy mini tower case nearly two years ago when I was rebuilding my PC. And now its dying on me. Ever since I put a second harddrive, the USB port has not been supplying enough constant power. It could be my motherboard - but I suspect its the SmartBlue 350Watts ATX PSU that came with my LanBoy.

It might be time for me to get a new case or a new PSU. I am beginning to hate my LanBoy. The PSU has two fans - so its noisy as hell. I only have two other fan running which is my Aerocool Glacier and the stock HSF on my graphic card. My CPU fan is running at full 2400rpm speed since I am overclocking my AMD Athlon XP 2100+ to 2.17Ghz, but its not noisy at all. At times when I throttle the speed down to 1500rpm, my PC still makes enough noise to be heard outside my room.

Hell, I think I will wait for 6-10 more months before building a new PC. I already have my eyes set on the AMD Athlon 64 3500+ Socket 939. Reusing my collection of 1Gb DDR400 RAM could easily be done since the 3500+ supports PC3200. The only problem is I have yet to see a motherboard for AMD CPUs that support PCI-Express slot. I know VIA is preparing a chipset with PCI-Express support but when will it be sampled to manufacturers?


Right now the old junk is working fine for me. Its fine for running normal stuff but chokes when running new games and encoding DivX videos from my DVDs and TV recordings.

I hope to be able to re-use as much components from my nForceII powered PC on the new PC. But its not looking good. Because I want to finally move to SATA and PCI-Express platform, I can't reuse my harddrives (these can go into a harddrive enclosure or my girlfriend's PC) and graphic card (also can move to her PC). Obviously the only things I can re-use would be my Hauppauge WinTV Nova-T Digital TV tuner as it works on PCI slot and my 1Gb worth of PC3200 DDRAM.

So in 6-10 months time I would need the money for all of these:

AMD Athlon64 3500+ Socket 939
A A64 939-pin motherboard with PCI-Express support
A new ATX case
256Mb ATi Radeon X800 XT PCI-Express card
Two Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 10 200Gb SATA harddrive (for RAID 0)

Better start saving...

Robbie album to be sold as memory card

Robbie William's Greatest Hits album would be sold not only on the CD media but also on MMC cards.

There are no details what capacity the cards would be or whether the audio will be compressed to mp3 or WMA format. Hopefully the audio would be in PCM format because paying £29.99 for an album - I would expect to get the best possible quality of music.

I am not a Robbie fan. However I think this is a great idea. £29.99 is a bit too much - but thats the way it is if you are an early adaptor. In a couple of years, prices of flash memory would drop drastically - probably making it cheaper than CDs. Hopefully by then we will see more content distribution done though flash memory. Movies will one day be sold in Mpeg4 or DivX format on flash media and be truely plug & play on mobile devices.

Source: BBC News

Monday, October 18, 2004

Treo 650 sighted at palmOne's site

A blunder on palmOne's website pretty much confirm the existence of the Treo 650. Yummy. Judging by the site, it seems that there would be two colour versions available.



Source: BargainPDA

Erotic Gherkin takes top RIBA prize

RIBA has awarded the top Stirling price to 30 St Mary Axe also known as the Gherkin, Swiss Re Tower.

What were they thinking? The Gherkin is one of those buildings around London that should never been approved in the first place. Badly designed - it should have been built in the capital of weird sky scrapers instead - Shanghai, PR of China.

London would be getting some pretty interesting office buildings in the next few years such as the London Bridge Tower which would claim the title of the tallest building in London, and the Leadenhall Building.

London Bridge Tower looks mildly interesting but I think we have a winner in the design of Leadenhall Building which is still in proposal stage.

Current playlist

What music I have on my PDA now:

Stonebridge's Can't Get Enough
- Hed Kandi sytle music. After having listened to many of the Swedish DJ's singles on various Hed Kandi (and other) compilations - its great to listen to a whole album. Nice.




1. Can’t Get Enough feat Charlie King
2. Give A Little feat Rita Campbell
3. Put Em High feat Therese
4. Once In A Lifetime feat Da Yeene
5. Show You How feat Julie Morrison & Jay Soul
6. Freak On feat Ultra Nate
7. A Little Bit Crazy feat Stella
8. Deeper Love feat David Gordon
9. Desire feat Bonnie Bailey
10. Take Me Away feat Therese
11. Clorophilla (Put A Little Love) feat Isabel Fructuoso
12. Gotta Give It Up feat Kenny Thomas
13. Let’s Loze It feat Jay Soul
14. What A Day feat Chris Coco & Da Yeene
15. 60 Seconds

Groove Armada's The Best of Groove Armada
- A nice collection of their best dance works. Have not been a fan even though their single features heavily on many compilations. This might change my mind.




1. Superstylin
2. If Everybody Looked The Same
3. I See You Baby (Fatboy Slim remix)
4. At The River
5. My Friend
6. All Of Me (Lovebox Sessions)
7. Inside My Mind (Blue Skies)
8. Easy
9. Chicago
10. Purple Haze
11. Blame It On The Sun
12. Madder
13. But I Feel Good
14. Think Twice

Carcass' Heartwork
- British melodic grindcore cum Death Metal from the masters that brought us the incredible Necroticism : Descanting the Insalubrious, a classic that makes such 'bands' like Linkin Park or HIM sounds like George Michael.




1. Biried Dreams
2. Carnal Forge
3. No Love Lost
4. Heartwork
5. Embodiment
6. This Mortal Coil
7. Arbeit Macht Fleisch
8. Blind Bleeding the Blind
9. Doctirnal Expletives
10. Death Certificate
11. This Is Your Life

Angel Dust's Enlighten The Darkness

- Melodic European Death Metal, exceptional piece of work. Play this on a good set of speakers.



1. Let Me Live
2. The One You Are
3. Enjoy!
4. Fly Away
5. Come Into Resistance
6. Beneath The Silence
7. Still I'm Bleeding
8. I Need You
9. First In Line
10. Cross Of Hatered
11. Oceans Of Tomorrow

Others:

DAB recording of Radio 1's Pete Tong's Essential Selection 15th October 2004 in OggVorbis format (I was out and about so did not have time to listen to the live broadcast - its just handy I have my WinTV Nova-T to record the show in high quality mp3 format):

Michael Gray 'The Weekend' (Eye Industries)
Bodyrockers 'I Like The Way' (White Label)
Paul Johnson 'She Got Me On' (Yellow)
Gadjo 'So Many Times' (Subliminal)
U2 'Vertigo (Redanka's Remix)' (Island/Universal)
The 411 'Teardrops' (Sony)
Lemon Jelly 'Stay With You' (XL Recordings)
Lucien Foort 'Shine The Light' (White Label)
Mutiny 'Holding On (Eric Prydz Mix)' (Underwater)
Ethan 'In My Heart' (Back Yard Records)
Britney Spears 'My Perogative (X Press 2 Dub)' (Jive/BMG)
Slam 'This World' (Soma)
Phats & Small 'A Night Like Dis' (White Label)

::: DJ On The Phone - Demi
Demi 'Gearbox (Fuma Mix)' (White Label)

Sander Kleinenberg 'The Fruit' (White Label)
Alex Neri And Federico Loochi 'Aurora' (Tenax Recordings)
LFO 'Nuture (Remix)' (Warp)
Prisoners Of Sound 'Close 2 The Sky (Original)' (White Label)

::: House Rules With - Serious At The Cross
Big Moses 'Brighter Days (Grooveliser Remix)' (King Street Records)

::: The Buzz Chart - Compiled By DMC...
Insignificant Others 'Use My X' (Skyline)
Tom Vek 'If You Want (Playgroup Mix)' (Tummy Touch)
Kings Of Tomorrow '6pm' (Defected)
Bugz In The Attic 'Booty La La' (V2)
Red Carpet 'Alright' (Positiva)
::: Buzz No.1
Portobella 'Viva La Difference (MK & MTV Mix)' (Eye Industries/Island)

::: This Week's Essential New Tune
Deux 'Sun Rising Up (Dub)' (Urbana Recordings)

Shaznay Lewis 'You (Switch Mix)' (London)
Play Paul 'Love Song' (International DJ Gigolo)
DJ T 'Radiator' (2020 Vision)

::: Eclectic Selection
Unkle And Ian Brown 'Reign' (Global Underground)
Mylo 'Sunworshipper' (Breastfed)

::: Weekend Hot Mix
Buick Project 'Drop The Beat' (White Label)
Pete Tong & Chris Cox 'More Intensity (Conor Sax Re-Edit)' (White Label)
Infusion 'Better World (Winx Mix)' (Deconstruction)
Michael Burnes Pres Blue Haze 'Into Nothing (Hamels Last Time For 9 Voc Mix)' (Saw Recodings)
Who Da Funk 'In The Night(Robotix Mix)' (Subusa)


Saturday, October 16, 2004

Film Review: Resident Evil: Apocalypse

Caught this today. Had some high expectations with it. I enjoyed the original and expected to enjoy this too.

As with the original, BBFC gave this movie a rating of 15. Therefore the violence level should be pretty much kiddie level.

The film is based on Resident Evil 3 : Nemesis video game. It was apparently changed to Resident Evil : Apocalypse because of the failure of nerd movie - Star Trek : Nemesis. Plot is similar to the Nemesis game. It also shares plot development from Resident Evil - Code : Veronica.

Anyway, the film takes place a few years after the incident at The Hive. The re-opening of The Hive led to the release of the deadly T-Virus into Racoon City. Soon the city is infected with flesh eating zombies. Alice (Milla Jovovich) was also released and has to join forces with Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and her posse to save themselves and escape the city.

Mean while, Matt Addison from the original Resident Evil has finally mutated into a creature called Nemesis. As usual things are not as they seem and there are some plot twists - nothing shocking if you have played the game. There are a couple of endings - but the final boss ending was very disappointing. The fight between Alice and Nemesis was plain boring - in cinematic terms. I guess it could rival The Mummy Returns ending in terms of stupidity.

A note - some people seems to mistaken the character Jill Valentine as Claire Redfield from Resident Evil - Code : Veronica - but she is not. Jill is Jill from the original Resident Evil and Resident Evil 3.

The complaints I had with the films is not enough violence, blood and gore. Hell, even the video game has more - I can't see why films such as Dawn of the Dead and 28 Days Later... (Christopher Eccleston - you are excellent!) can have much violence (and still be interesting) yet this sequal lacks both.

Milla Jovovich did show both her nipples (instead of just one as was in Resident Evil) this time though. It does helps bring up my overall rating of the film to 6 out of 10. 1/2 a point for each nipple.

Too bad the very fine Sienne Guillory did not show any of hers. I would give an extra point to view one of hers.

Tories should learn how to woo voters

The latest outburst in The Spectator (a magazine marketed at upper class elitist toffs) is a proof that the Tories are dead as a political force in the United Kingdom. Such mindless editorial approval from Boris Johnson (probably one of the few Conservative MPs I respect) only proof that the Tories are still making mistakes on how to lose votes. Boris Johnson should stick to writing features on arts and cars (in GQ) and leave politics to people who are capable.

By the way, Tony Bliar does have blood on his hands.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Current playlist

Fatboy Slim's Palookaville



Track Listings:

1. Don't Let The Man
2. Slash Dot Slash
3. Wonderful Night
4. Long Way From Home
5. Put It Back Together
6. Mi Bebe Masoquista
7. Push and Shove
8. North West Three
9. The Journey
10. Jin Go Lo Ba
11. Song for Chesh
12. The Joker


Slightly more mellow from his previous albums such as the underrated Halfway between the Gutter and the Stars, but equally as engaging. Groovy, catchy and mix of rock and dance. A fantastic album - not a classic - but still awesome - especially considering all that happened to Norman Cook in the past year (the Zoegate problem).

Hate those BlackBerry users?

Know someone you hate who happens to use a BlackBerry? Annoyed by those BlackBerry carrying Canary Wharf city slickers who earns and spends too much money and also happens to drive a SUV?

Well, send them a long meeting request with bunch of texts in the location field and set the time in the past and it will cause their device hard reset thus losing their important client and boss e-mails.

Of course I am not suggesting you to do this. ;) Okay... maybe to those 4x4 owners.

BlackBerry users who is keen to protect themselves from such attacks ought to update their software to version 3.8 or 4.0.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

HP hx4700 first impression & a rant

Played around with a new Hewlett-Packard iPAQ hx4700 and came out with mix feelings about it. It was too big for one especially when compared to my h4150. The case material was fine. The touch pad was quite annoying and I found myself unable to rest on it without incidentally triggering on a program.

The screen was both amazing and disappointing. As a VGA screen, the amount of pixels on the screen is plain awesome especially for viewing images. However the screen itself was dark and was not bright enough (although I set the brightness to maximum). The screen was also very reflective as though there is a glass over it much like those on newer Sony VAIO laptops. Very annoying.

The price was £450, the same price as the h4150 when it d├ębut. I got my h4150 for £230 after six months on the market. Hopefully by next March, it would come down below £300 and then maybe I would consider it - but right now the screen has too much problems to justify the price tag (the h4150 also has problems with the screen namely the yellow tint and washed out colours).

Where did I see it? Dixons Brent Cross. Was served by a mid aged lady. When it became clear that I was not going to purchase it, she yanked the device out of my hand said thank you and walked away. Typical Dixons staff attitude. Obviously she thought I would purchase the product after only 1 minute of fondling.

Anyway I should have known having had run ins with their ignorant management and untrained staffs for years. (They tried to sell me a Palm Tungsten T as a T3 - because the price tag said it was a T3 - how low can you get?) I should make it clear that not all Dixons staff are idiots. They just probably get a minimal training in how to trick and deceit customers out of their money. That is the Dixons Stores Group secret mantra.

Micro Anvika also sells the hx4700 for £450. Their staffs are extremely friendly, knows what they are talking about, are willing to show you a product even if you are not going to buy it and generally very ethusiat about technology as a whole. They do not chase sales and more importantly they are very polite to their future customers. If you want to buy a hx4700 today from a high street store - make sure you go to Micro Anvika and not Dixons (or one of those shoddy Tottenham Court Road stores).

Current playlist

Big Tunes: Living for the Weekend
releaseed 20th September 2004 by Ministry of Sound


A nice collection of club anthems including the current number one Call On Me by Eric Prydz. Other highlights includes Danzel's Pump It Up, Armand Van Helden's My My My and StoneBridge's Put Em High. I probably won't go through the compilation much yet when I am so busy this week. I will give it the pace it needs when my weekend starts this Friday afternoon.


CD2 includes the uncensored video of Eric Prydz's Call On Me. The quality is so so and is embedded into a Macromedia Flash file. If you want to get a quality video of it buy the DVD single.

CD One

1. Eric Prydz - Call On Me
2. Stonebridge feat Therese - Put Em High (JJ's Club Mix)
3. Armand Van Helden - My My My
4. Junior Jack - Stupidisco
5. Praise Cats - Shined On Me (Bini & Martini Re-Vocal Mix)
6. Boogie Pimps - Somebody To Love (DJ Flex Executive Club Mix)
7. DT8 Project - Sun Is Shining (Down On Me)
8. Stellar Project feat Brandi Emma - Get Up Stand Up
9. Soul Central - Strings of Life (Danny Krivit Re-edit)
10. UD Project - Saturday Night
11. MP Box feat Cheryl Porter - Fire It Up (Sandy Wilheim Remix)
12. Supacupa - Keep Movin On (Mike Di Scala Remix)
13. Danzel - Pump It Up (Club Mix)
14. Florida Inc - F**k It (I Don't Want You Back)
15. The Farm - Altogether Now (BCD Project Remix)
16. Divine Inspiration - The Way (Friday Night Posse Remix)
17. BM Dubs - Whoomp There It Is (FNP Remix)
18. Cascada - I Need A Miracle
19. Pulsatronix feat Danielle - Wrap Me Up (In Your Love) (Lee S Remix)
20. Lauren - Dreamboy (Pez Tellet Remix)

CD Two

1. Angel City feat Lara McAllen - Do You Know (I Go Crazy)
2. Dana Rayne - Object of My Desire (DJ Puddy vs Mark Simon Remix)
3. Khia - My Neck My Back (Lick It) (FNP Remix)
4. Candee Jay - If I Were You
5. Onyx - Every Little Time (Rezonance Q Remix)
6. Kristine Blond - Love Shy 2004 (BCD Project Remix)
7. Drunkenmunky - Yeah
8. Stuart - Free (Let It Be) 2004 (Quadrasonic Remix)
9. DJ Dex and A - Sweet Child of Mine
10. Benny Benassi presents The Biz - Satisfaction (Pez Tellet Remix)
11. Bel Air feat Lisa Scott Lee - Sunshine (Alex K Klub Remix)
12. Northern Heightz - Fly To You (Pez Tellet vs Northstarz Remix)
13. Lost Brothers - Cry Little Sister (Donk Remix)
14. Yomanda - You're Free (Calm Down Crew Remix)
15. Neon 8 - The Only Way Is Up
16. Insight - Only Your Love (Cheeky Trax Remix)
17. Titan 3 - Let Your Heart Go Free (Darren Styles Remix)
18. Rococco - Rhythmride (Dizzy Deejay's Mix)




BONUS. Eric Prydz - Call On Me VIDEO

Girls are now target of murder

20 shots into her, 5 of which went into her head. She was walking to school. She dropped her bag when soldiers attempted to assassinate her. She ran, they fired. She was carrying no bomb and no other weapons.

Another girl, a 10 year old, was standing in front of her house. Soldiers hiding from tanks fired at her stomach and leg, thus killing her.

Source: News Register, Al-Jazeera, BBC News

Monday, October 11, 2004

Dell AC adapter can kill

4.4 million Dell laptop power adapters is to be recalled because it could overheat and cause fire or shock. These adapters were issued between 1998 and 2002.

Why so late Dell? I bought a Dell Inspiron laptop back in 1998 and the adapter was as hot as hell. I complained but was told that it was within spec'ed. Now I found out that all these time I risked being killed for using their lousy laptop. Luckily I do not use Dell laptops anymore (or any laptops or Dell PCs although it is my wish to own a Sony X505).

Dell might sell cheap laptops, desktops, printers and PDAs but are the quality good? In my opinion - no. While the service is excellent in Malaysia (they sent a guy out on a bike to journey 100km to our home to replace the keyboard's key - which fell out another 5 times within the year), Dell products is often pronounced in the same tune as garbage.

And the service in the UK is crap. I had a friend who bought his Dell in China and had a World Wide warranty. Seven months on his laptop's screen would not power up. He spent hundreds calling Dell UK and China. From what he told me - Dell UK would not fix his laptop under warranty unless he transfered his service tag from China to UK. What a load of toss!

Remember, Dell is just another PC clone. They do not even make their own PC. You can get similarly priced and probably better spec'ed laptops from Hewlett-Packard or Toshiba. And you get a piece of mind as these manufacturers hardly screw their customers.

As for desktop - just build your own PC. It is dead easy and takes less than an hour.

I do not like to attack manufacturers for making faulty products and then recalling them. What I am concern is it took them six years to finally recall a potentially dangerous product. Did it took a couple of house fires and death of their customers to finally bring them to their senses? Was it cheaper to recall rather than face a lawsuit?

Source: ZDNet

Superman dies

Actor Christopher Reeves has died. He suffered a cardiac arrest at his New York home and slipped into a coma. As a result of an infection, he died this morning (UK time).

I remembered back in the 80s, Superman repeats was one of those films shown on TV that I would not miss. Even today watching those films, you would believe that a man can fly. And Christopher Reeves made it possible. As both Superman on and off the screen.


Saturday, October 9, 2004

PHP

Well, I received my Amazon UK order of Visual QuickPro Guide's PHP and MySQL for Dynamic Web Sites. Costed me £9.49. I haven't studied web language (HTML 4.0) for a long time - in fact since 1999 (when I self learn). My HTML needs brushing up and hopefully studying PHP would give my brain a kick. Flicking through the book it looks easy. We are due to receive an Apache server soon so hopefully my network project would be up and running in a few weeks.

Movie reviews (contain spoilers)

Since my last pointless film review, I have watched three new films in the cinema. Since I am lazy to write my through thoughts on each of them, I will just post my (long) summaries here:

Layer Cake:

Based on the book of the same name, this is a classic British gangster movie. The plot revolves around a nameless character (XXXX) who is a drug dealer making and selling Ecstasy pills. While hating the lime light, he is also gathering enough cash for an early retirement out of the drug World.


However complication arises when a bunch of clueless pikeys robs a million Ecstasy pills of a Dutch drug lord and XXXX was asked by his boss, Jimmy Price to buy the pills of the tossers and to find a girl. Shits happen and soon some Serbian assassin is on his tail and he found out that his boss wants to fuck him up.

An excellent British movie that is made to look as realistic as possible. While other gangster movie such as Guy Ritchie's Snatch and Lock, Stock... as well as the incredible stupid 51st State (aka Formula 51) are entertaining, they are far from realistic. These films glorify gangsters but Layer Cake does not. In fact Layer Cake just proves how dangerous the drug World is and totally not glamorous. There are some silly moments and the ending is a slight disappointing. Minus one point for not showing enough of the hot and sexy Sienna Miller (as Tammy) and playing 80s British music in the first one hour.

A 8/10 - even though it is the directional debut of Matthew Vaughn.

Sky Captain & The World Of Tomorrow:

Well, the CGI is NOT as good as The Lord of the Rings, but then again, Sky Captain was shot entirely in blue screen. Gwyneth Paltrow is as annoying as ever. Why can't someone tell her she can't act? Jude Law's acting was al right. It was Angelina Jolie's rather brief appearance that, in my opinion saved the movie. Overall an al right movie but very annoying in many parts. The acting is bad as a whole but what can you expect when all the actors see are blue in colour.

5.5/10

Bride & Prejudice

This summary is a little long because I just watched the movie today and its still fresh in my head.

Inspired by the Jane Austen's novel Pride & Prejudice, this film follows an Indian family in typical Bollywood style. Directed by Gurinder Chandha, the director of Bend it like Beckham, it was shot in India, Los Angeles, London and Ealing.

Straight to the point then. It was disappointing. It was tedious. The director tried to make a musical, Indian, English and American movie all into one - which is plain wrong. I understand why the production team wanted to shoot part of the movie in London because its a British movie - but it was so unnecessary and does not contribute to the development of the movie at all!

The humour is thin and the development of characters is short. The lyrics of the musics are cheesy does the voices does not sound like the actors and actresses voice. I have enjoyed alot of Bollywood film in the past and this ranks among the worst in terms of dancing and music.


The character of Mr Darcy is played by the bland and boring Martin Handerson (the guy in Britney Spear's Toxic video).

I guess the only thing redeeming about this movie is the sexy Aishwarya Rai who plays Lalita, a character loosely based on Elizabeth Bennet.

I also can't help but wish that Gurinder Chadha would start casting western women as the leading role falling for the Indian guy. For the pass few films, we have seen Indian female lead roles falling for handsome white men ignoring the Indian male (often portrayed in a negative role). It is not a major issue and one that I do not really care about. But I do wish for a change.

5.5/10

Current playlist

Picked this up today, a nice collection of Hed Kandi's summer mixes compiled and mixed by Mark Doyle. So far quite satisfied with it but not as good as other Hed Kandi's releases. Some of the tracks are old skool house. I am not a fan of old skool house anthems (early 90s) therefore there are some dissapointment in my part. But on a whole a fine release.

Hed Kandi's The Mix : Summer 2004 3CDs compilation



CD1 (The Disco Heaven Mix)

01. Eric Kupper Presents K-Scope feat. Bonnie Bailey: Firefly
02. Funkstar Deluxe feat. The Crickets: When I Think Of You (Extended Version)
03. Bob Sinclar: I Feel For You (I Feel4 Disco Mix)
04. Praise Cats feat. Andrea Love: Sing (Club Mix)
05. Danny Howells & Dick Trevor feat. Erire: Dusk Till Dawn (Shapeshifters 12Inch Mix)
06. Steven Tibet feat. Manuela: We Are Family (Andrea T. Mendoza vs. Steven Tibet Original Mix)
07. The Brand New Heavies: Boogie (Eric Kupper Mix)
08. Solu Music feat. Kimblee: Fade (Eric Kupper Remix)
09. Soul System feat. Jungle Brothers: Feels So Good (Vocal Mix)
10. T-Jam: Shame, Shame, Shame (Luis Radio Main Vocal RMX)
11. Peyton: A Higher Place (Eric Kupper´s Gospel Degree Vocal Mix)
12. StoneBridge: Put ´Em High (Dancing Divaz Remix)
13. Marly: You Never Know (LMC Dub)
14. Max Sedgley: Happy (Fat Boy Slim Mix)

CD2 (The Twisted Disco Mix)
01. Cicada: Cut Right Through (12 Inch Mix)
02. Deepest Blue: Is It A Sin (Cicada´s Stadium Remix)
03. Solasso feat. Kate Smith: Whatever (Keep Me Guessing)
04. Bonnie Bailey: Sweet Serendipity (Eric Kupper Extended Remix)
05. Flower Power: Flower Power (Original Mix)
06. Morillo feat. Audio Bullys: Break Down The Doors (DM Stereo Dub Mix)
07. Kujay Da Da: Everything (Big Room Mix)
08. Ferry Corsten: Rock Your Body Rock (Extended Mix)
09. Freestylers: Push Up (DJ Bomba & J Paolo Remix)
10. Armand Van Helden feat. Spalding Rockwell: Hear My Name (Original 12 Inch Mix)
11. Junior Jack: Stupidisco (Extended Original Version)
12. Seamus Haji: Last Night A DJ Saved My Life (Vocal Mix)
13. Therese: Time (StoneBridge Mix)

CD3 (The Back To Love Mix)

01. T-Empo: Saturday Night, Sunday Morning (Original T-Empo Mix)
02. Aftershock: Slave To The Vibe (12 Inch Club Mix)
03. Ann Consuelo: See The Day (StoneBridge Mix)
04. Raze: Break 4 Luv
05. Ce Ce Peniston: Finally (12 Inch Choice Mix)
06. Robin S: Show Me Love (StoneBridge Club Mix)
07. Mass Order: Lift Every Voice (Take Me Away) (Bumped Up Mix)
08. Inner City: Pennies From Heaven (Kevin´s Tunnel Mix)
09. Pulse: The Lover That You Are
10. Patti Day: Right Before My Eyes (House Vocal Mix)
11. Alison Limerick: Where Love Lives (Come On In) (12 Inch Classic Mix)
12. Rhythm Is Rhythm: Strings Of Life (Piano Mix)
13. Joe Smooth: Promised Land (Original Mix)

Thursday, October 7, 2004

Killer flu recreated in lab

Well, look here who has a Weapons of Mass Destruction. A US based university. They have probably created a biological weapon that could kill millions of people. This is research you say? Well Iraq could also have used a similar excuse to continue their WMD programme (if they had any!).

Source: BBC News

BargainPDA : First Thoughts on Tungsten T5

BargainPDA has some original pictures of their palmOne Tungsten T5 review unit. Looks nice. I love the idea of returning to the Palm m5xx form factor but I sure wish palmOne had thought of another design rather than reusing a design that was first released on a budget model (Tungsten E).

I also wish they kept the slider but hei, if people (based on palmOne's market research) do not want a slider then fine by me.

While the 416Mhz Intel X-Scale PXA27x processor sounds slow when compared to some of the beast founs on Pocket PCs I think it does not matter. This Palm runs on PalmOS 5.4 which is pretty fast. Even my Hewlett-Packard iPAQ h4150 with its 400Mhz processor feels slow when compared to my similarly spec'ed T3 so while Pocket PC needs all the clock speed it can get, I doubt any (current) Palms would need one over 500Mhz.

And finally the death of Palm's Universal Connector! Hurrah! While I wish palmOne remove the serial connector all together it seems many people still wish for one. So a new serial connector. Personally I don't care as I try not to invest in serial connector accessories for my PDAs and mobile phones.

One thing I will miss (if I get this) is the spring loaded stylus that first came with the Palm Tungsten T. It was a classic and in my opinion the best stylus ever created. However the stylus here is the same size as those on the m5xx and V series and I have a Cross Micro stylus that can fit in this!!!

There are roughly 215Mb of space accessable to users. 55Mb of which acts as normal RAM. palmOne has stated that the RAM would not lose its content when power is cut even for months. Could the T5 be running magnetic RAM? Who knows? PDA manufacturers are always reluctant to publish detailed specifications on their products.

Personally I think palmOne has a winner here. It will debut at the same price as the T3 a year ago and will have some improvements - namely the bigger battery, newer OS, faster processor and bigger RAM/ROM space. The bigger space might temp someone who wanted a mp3 player (out of the box) and a PDA.

To me WiFi is useless and pointless in this day and age where people are always connected through their mobile phone. Not to mention WiFi has yet to mature enough to handle seamless re-connection. I hate it when walking around London and have to connect to a different Access Point every other minute. And what free WiFi? There are almost no free WiFi access in London.

But if you really need WiFi, you can always buy an add-on SDIO WiFi card that palmOne is also selling.

What WMD?

Iraq has no WMD! That is a fact. Despite the politicians who authorised the illegal war, trying to spin their way out of a report, Iraq has NO WMD when the illegal invasion began. None. Zip. In fact the report states that Iraq's nuclear programme decayed since 1991!

Now all we have is thousands of dead innocent Iraqis men, women and children for a war that should not have begun in the first place and a nice oil reserve from a puppet government.

Monday, October 4, 2004

PS2

Just bought a used PlayStation 2. First game I bought with it? Metal Gear Solid 2. Fantastic game and equally as good as Metal Gear Solid (which I played on both PC and PSone). Looking forward to other purchases.

Friday, October 1, 2004

Silverstone axed!

The British Grand Prix in Silverstone has been axed as Bernie Ecclestone slames the organisers one more time. Can I say - about bloody time! Now please bring the Grand Prix to London! We know it can happen, despite some misgivings. So a message to the Federation Internationale De L'Automobile, make it happen! We know Bernie is keen on it.


Formula One cars in London during this summer